North Hempstead adopted a Complete Streets policy on Tuesday, making it the fourth policy of its kind on Long Island, behind Babylon, Islip and Brookhaven, and the first adopted policy in Nassau County.
Under its new policy, the town will seek to accommodate all road users during design, construction, and maintenance of local roads. The policy includes detailed design standards, examples of complete streets projects done before adoption of the formal policy, and concrete next steps for implementation.
The fight for safer streets in North Hempstead was led by Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilman Tom Dwyer. Supervisor Kaiman, in a press release, called adoption of the policy a proud moment for the Town and added that “instituting this policy will ensure that all roadways in North Hempstead will be designed will all users in mind – including pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-motorized modes of transportation.”
Councilman Dwyer emphasized that North Hempstead, by adopting this policy, is now part of a broader livable streets movement that is occurring throughout the country. “A movement has grown throughout the country for local municipalities to build safer, more livable roads. I am proud to say that North Hempstead will do just that in the months and years ahead.”
Both the Supervisor and Councilman should be applauded for their work on this initiative, which is certain to foster safer environments for all users of town roads.
However, once again the drawback of a local policy is that it doesn’t apply to county and state roads, which are some of the most dangerous in the region. North Hempstead’s adoption is another call to action for Albany to act on a statewide complete streets bill, and make all the state’s roads safer.